Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato: A Perfect Busy Weeknight Dinner

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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato: Perfect for Busy School Nights

 

Protein-Packed Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potatoes

As a kid, I was a seriously picky eater. This made mealtime a huge struggle for me. Over the years (and two summers with Teen Missions) I managed to break myself of pickiness. Our tastes change over time and strangely, two of my least favorite foods (mango and sweet potato) are now favorites.

I am pretty sure my aversion to sweet potatoes came at Thanksgiving as a kid when mom would serve of piping hot dishes of sweet potatoes with gooey, melted (and perfectly browned) marshmallows hiding a thick layer of VEGETABLES. That’s nearly as bad as biting into a chocolate chip cooked and finding a raisin.

What kind of trick is that to play on a kid? No, mom, despite the name SWEET, sweet potatoes (even under a layer of marshmallows) are not dessert.

{shudder}

And now, here I am, creating recipes with sweet potatoes and feeding them to my kids…who love them.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.

Can you believe this dinner can be prepped and cooked under 30 minutes? This is a perfect weeknight dinner for large families.

Weeknights are often busy in our house. Tucker and Hezekiah are both running cross country at school this year and we have ABA therapists in our house every weeknight, often right at dinner time. This makes meal planning or easily thrown-together-at-the-last-minute meals a necessity for our family. This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato can be prepped in less than 10 minutes and cooks in only 5! Within 30 minutes this one-pot dinner is ready to be served.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.

This recipe uses Modern Table Penne Pasta which I love because it is made with lentils and packed with protein. All pastas are lentil-based and contain complete proteins – meaning they have the 9 essential amino acids our bodies need for strong energy, good digestion, and muscle health. With only three plant-based ingredients, the plain pastas are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free

You can order Modern Table Pasta on Amazon. Use promo code “25pastamonth” to get 25% off your order!

For some reason making “mac and cheese” always seems more grown up and legit when I use penne.

Please tell me I’m not alone on this one.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.

The first time I made mac and cheese in the Instant Pot, I added everything at once. It was awful. Cheese, as it turns out, does not need to be cooked for 5 minutes at high pressure.

Who knew?

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.

To really spice things up, serve this up in a sourdough bread bowl and garnish with bacon.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.

I let my dad sample this. My mom wasn’t convinced he’d eat it since this Modern Table Penne is made of lentils and he isn’t usually thrilled with alternative foods.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.

Guess what? He loved it. So did my mom. So did I.

This recipe is a real winner and so much more flavorful than traditional mac and cheese. And since it has sweet potatoes in it, I can serve this as a one-pot meal, guilt free.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potatoes

A delish, quick meal for busy weeknights. Ready to eat in 30 minutes or less.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Modern Table Penne
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 small sweet potatoes chopped
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar grated
  • 1 cup smoked gouda grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked bacon for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add oil to Instant Pot and push saute button. When hot add onion and saute for a minute or two.

    Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.
  2. Add in chopped sweet potato and saute 1-2 minutes more.

  3. Push cancel/reset on Instant Pot. Add in Modern Table Penne and chicken broth.

  4. Place lid on Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for five minutes. 

  5. Use quick release to release steam. Add in cheeses and mix thoroughly. 

  6. Serve in sourdough bowls if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste, garnish with bacon.

    Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato. Busy weeknight dinner for large family.

What is your favorite easy weeknight dinner? Bonus points if you leave a link in the comments!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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